October 15, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalieCorey Crawford
(50) before the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Center. The Blackhawks defeated the Hurricanes 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
There are several numbers associated with the Chicago Blackhawks early into the season the do not compute! Which numbers should we trust?
+3 Goal Differental – This number proves the fact that the Blackhawks are not be suffering from a Stanley Cup hangover like the 2010-2011 season, but they are severely lacking in the killer instinct mentality. For the 3rd time against an Eastern Conference foe the Hawks were up 2-0 and twice ended up in a shootout going 1-1 and holding on for a 2-1 win against the New York Islanders. The Hawks had every chance to put all three games away early but they let them HANG around.
5:07- The total amount of time that the Hawks have trailed in 6 games so far this season. This of course is a tremendous stat and proves that the Hawks are focused on winning each and every night which wasn’t always the case in 2010-2011. Crawford has saved the day late in games when leads have been blown to help the Hawks collect points.
0 Goals 1 Assist -2– Bryan Bickell‘s stat line 6 games in is not what the Blackhawks organization and fans were expecting when the he was signed in the offseason for 4 million dollars a season. Bickell had the golden touch throughout the playoffs, but he doesn’t look the same so far. In a small sample size he isn’t hitting or finishing checks and the plays that he was scoring on during the playoffs #29 isn’t finishing them early on in this season. There were reports that he knew what the Hawks needed, but he didn’t provide them again on Tuesday night.
0 Goals 4 Assists +4 17 Blocked shots– Niklas Hjalmarsson along with Duncan Keith seemed to suffer the biggest Cup hangover last go around, but Hjalmarsson after one bad game against the Sabres was back to playing at an extremely high level Tuesday night doing what he does best blocking shots. Hjalmarsson on most teams would be on the top D pairing, but his high level of play is key to the Hawks picking up wins.
4-1-1 The Hawks haven’t played their best and yet they have picked up 9 out of a possible 12 points 6 games into the season. So which number do we trust? Is this how the season is going to play out with every game a nail biter yet never trailing? Or will the Hawks find their killer mentality? Will Bickell snap out of it and will Hammer keep up his stellar play? It’s only a small sample size so which ones will be a trend and which numbers can you throw out?
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